1. Home

Getting Rid Of Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac on Pets

By

Poison Ivy by SWMNPoliSciProject on Wikipedia

Poison Ivy

by SWMNPoliSciProject on Wikipedia
Question: Getting Rid Of Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac on Pets
Your pet ran through a patch of poison ivy. Pets may not "get" poison ivy, but they can spread it. The next question people have is: How do I bathe my dog after being exposed to poison ivy?
Answer:

The Spread of Poison Ivy

Dogs and cats do not suffer the allergenic effects of poison ivy, sumac or oak like humans do, but they can transmit the oil of these plants to humans on their hair. This means that your pet can bring you poison ivy (and related) even though you haven't been in the woods.

The Plant Oil

The oil responsible for the rashes and blisters that sensitive humans suffer from, is called urushiol. This oil very hardy and long-lived, and may persist in the environment (and on clothing, sleeping bags, etc.) for years.

Getting Rid of Urushiol Oils on Your Pets

A bath is in order. Here are some tips to make the pet bathing as effective as possible for removing this stubborn plant oil.
  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Use a barrier cream, such as a lotion containing bentoquatum, on your arms and skin not protected by gloves. Ref: CDC prevention tips
  • Use copious amounts of cool water, for a long period of time.
  • Use a "degreasing" soap, such as Dawn dishwashing detergent, to remove the oils from your pet's coat.

Getting Rid of Urushiol Oils on Tools and Surfaces

  • Wear rubber gloves.
  • Use copious amounts of water
  • Use rubbing alcohol (isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol) and lots of soap.
  • Discard cloth and clothing items if possible, otherwise wash in hot water with lots of detergent.

Getting Rid of Urushiol Oils in the Environment

It is very important to not burn these plants! Burning releases the oils in the air, potentially causing very serious allergic reactions. Reactions to this allergen are common, and may occur at any time in a person's life. Here are some safe tips for removing these plants, from the About.com Guide to Landscaping.
  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Veterinary Medicine
  4. Diseases and Conditions
  5. Poison Ivy - How do I bathe my dog after being exposed to poison ivy?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.